SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information

 

 



In Memory of U.S. Air Force Major

Lawrence John Frahman

Wilmot, South Dakota, Roberts County

November 18, 1928 – July 2, 1966

Killed in Action Southeast of Danang Air Base in Vietnam

 

Lawrence John Frahman was born November 18, 1928, in Ortonville, Minnesota, to John and Martha (Jurgens) Frahman. He only had one sister, Margaret. Their hometown was Wilmot in Roberts County. Lawrence went to country school at Lake Township and then Wilmot High and graduated in 1947; while in high school he lettered in basketball, vocal music, and publishing the school paper. He joined the service in 1951; Lawrence married Jeanette Sandbakken, on November 24, 1954, in Spokane, Washington. They had three children: Deborah, Mary Ann, and Deanna. Lawrence liked to play baseball and golf; he also liked to fish. He loved his family by always including them; they all had their own fishing rods at age 3.

Lawrence J. Frahman joined the service in January of 1951; during this time “he was an SR Air Policeman and while stationed in Puerto Rico, his CO strongly suggested he go to Officers training,” according to his wife, Jeanette. So he was discharged to accept a commission in the Air Force Reserve Corps at Mather AFB (Air Force Base), in California by attending Observer Training School at Mather and Ellington Air Force Base in Texas. 2nd Lt. Frahman then went to Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington, followed by Student Officer Pilot Training at Bainbridge AFB in Georgia and Vance AFB in Oklahoma. He graduated first in his class in getting his pilot’s wings and after that reported to Portland International Airport where he was a transportation pilot. From there he went to Goodfellow AFB and then Clark AFB in the Philippines. In 1961 he returned to the United States, stationed at Randolph AFB as a fight check pilot. Frahman then became a flight training instructor stationed at Scott AFB in Illinois. On July 28, 1965, Captain Frahman went to Vietnam, stationed at DaNang, as a pilot, Forward Air Controller, in a 0-1E aircraft.

United States Air Force Major Lawrence John Frahman was killed in action on July 2, 1966, when “two strikes of aircraft were directed by Larry against a heavily fortified village approximately twenty-one miles south of DaNang. When the mission was complete, Frahman “descended to assess the damage inflicted on the target. He was then hit.” A ground team went in later to recover his body. This is a part of a letter from the Operations Officer of the 20th Tactical Air Support to Lawrence’s wife:

I was not here on the second of July but am familiar with Larry’s last mission. He was the experienced pilot in the Squadron and was the scheduling Officer. On the second, the Squadron was programmed for an unusually lucrative but easy target so Larry thought that it would be a good mission for his last flight and he scheduled himself to fly it. After finishing the strike the last fighter hurried to join the others. The fighter pilot felt the collision but was able to continue on to his base. Larry’s plane was so badly damaged that he immediately crashed. I cannot describe our feelings over the loss of such a respected comrade, but we all wish for you and the children the best of everything in the future.

His body returned to America and was buried with military honors at the Wilmot Cemetery. At the time of his death, Major Frahman was a 16 – year veteran in the Air Force, and according to his wife, Jeanette, “Larry had logged 399 flights and this was number 400. He was to leave for his return to stateside.” Major Frahman had many awards including the Air Medal with 17 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart. From the citation for the DFC, given for actions during October 19-23, 1965, these words: “…while piloting an O1E aircraft in support of ground forces engaged in combat with the Viet Cong, Captain Frahman flew a series of extremely hazardous missions in rugged mountainous terrain under severe weather conditions and exposed to constant danger from heavy ground fire...” The citation ends with the words, “…the outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Captain Frahman reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”

Current survivors are his widow, Jeanette Jones, Reno, Nevada, and his three daughters: Deborah, Mary Ann, and Deanna. In closing his widow, Jeanette said, “We are very proud of him and were so very grateful for all the support given us at that time.”

This entry was submitted by Patryk Herman, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on February 3, 2006. Information was provided by Major Frahman’s widow, Jeanette Jones, Reno, Nevada. Profile approval by Jeanette Jones.

 


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